We took a break from working on the dog gym this weekend to do some filming with Tawzer Dog.
The filming on Saturday was a bit like organized chaos, maybe even more than a bit! The DVD will be called something like Building the Therapy/Crisis Team. I wanted to make sure we showed realistic behaviors from 10-11 week old puppies all the through to a finished working team. And boy oh boy did we get a dose of reality!
The puppies were so jazzed to be in a new space that they were super scamps! Snarking, resource guarding, running away to play, etc. But they also did AMAZING work and had great settle at one point. This is reality, and I wanted people to see that a future Therapy dog doesn’t necessarily mean calm puppy!
Our adolescents who I thought for sure would be scampy were almost too perfect. They came in like they worked on camera every day, ‘Yo Joe, can you top off my water bowl?’ They impressed me with their ability to play well and then settle beautifully.
Our young adult dogs were a bit flighty, but when asked to work, amazing.
Sometimes I think people get the impression that a Therapy or Crisis dog needs to be that calm almost shut down puppy, and the reality is, it can be almost any dog as long as the handler is really motivated and understands the task at hand.
What I hope this video conveys is that if a handler understands their job with; appropriate play, dog time, touch/handling, kind and considerate socialization, basic behaviors, exposure to new and different, and creating a willingness to learn with their dog, then sky’s the limit! Some dogs/breeds/temperaments will for sure be more obvious, but we have had plenty of non traditional teams go through our programs and become very success at in the Therapy/Crisis Dog world. I think one of the most important traits in a dog for this line of work, is a dog that innately gets social cues and responds appropriately, whether it’s from another dog or a person.
And then to end the day we walked through down town Bozeman with two of our finished teams, and did a lovely interview in the Country Bookshelf. It was a total pleasure to follow these teams down Main street, at ease, relaxed enjoying the walk, and super polite to all around them. A total joy!
Sunday, we filmed up at the Lindley center. Mary Martin from Hope Animal Assisted Crisis Response, and Nancy Rosen from Intermountain Therapy Animals were our guest speakers. It was so inspirational, informative, and a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon! I have a new found appreciation for these women, their organizations, and the work that they do! Several of the handlers that came are now motivated to go from family pet owner to working team. I love when that happens!
And then the BBQ! Spore took the kids and film crew for a hike up in Hyalite, I cooked and drank wine with Mary. It all came together with yummy food from our garden, fun dog play, slack lining and lots of laughter!
Here is to a great week with restored energy! Nancy